I normally delete comments that merely sling insults and don’t contain any substantive contribution/critique. But I had to leave this comment by Dave Koch from Prescott up on my post poking fun at the poor writing skills of of AZ Representative Paul Gosar (or his staff). I left the comment up partly because it (amusingly) has even more errors than Gosar’s letter and partly because it demonstrates a kind of thought pattern that I find really interesting and problematic.
Dave Koch is really pissed off. That’s alright. I’m pissed off too! I bet Dave Koch and I are probably pissed off for some of the same reasons – like unemployment, and the prospect that the future is going to be worse than the past. I’d say that’s a good starting point for working together to fix a problem.
But I know how a discussion with Dave Koch would go. He would focus on how I am (or how he thinks I am) different from him (right now he assumes I’m some sort of welfare queen), and claim that all of my arguments and positions are invalid because of my age, my sexuality, my religion (or lack thereof), etc.
Dave Koch doesn’t think that his comment on my Gosar post is silly and misses the point. He thinks that my imaginary position on the welfare rolls means that nothing I say is relevant. That’s how a whole heck of a lot of Americans do politics, and that’s a huge problem. Because the only way you can have a real conversation in that sort of climate is if you make sure that everyone has the same background, the same belief system, the same goals, the same lives. A country that enforced that kind of homogeneity would a really scary and miserable place to live.